INSTITUTE INDEX: The economic injustice of the South Carolina nuclear reactor debacle

Workers pouring the basement for one of two nuclear reactors under construction at the V.C. Summer plant near Jenkinsville, South Carolina, in 2013. SCE&G and parent company SCANA have canceled the reactors after ratepayers already forked over $1.4 billion to pay for them; now the companies want to force those same ratepayers to pay an additional $2.2 billion in abandonment costs. Meanwhile, 6,000 construction workers are out of a job. (Nuclear Regulatory Commission photo via Flickr.)

Date on which the South Carolina utility SCE&G and parent company SCANA announced they were abandoning construction of two unfinished nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer plant near Jenkinsville because it was "prohibitively expensive": 7/31/2017

As a result of the decision, which comes in the wake of the March bankruptcy filing by reactor builder Westinghouse, number of construction workers who lost their jobs: 6,000

Total amount SCE&G customers have already paid toward the canceled reactors: $1.4 billion

Year in which the South Carolina legislature passed the Base Load Review Act, allowing power companies to charge customers for construction costs even before a plant's completion: 2007

Of the 170 members of the South Carolina House, number who voted against the law: 6

Amount SCE&G contributed to South Carolina state political campaigns in the decade leading up to that vote: $125,650

Since 2009, number of rate hikes SCE&G customers have faced to finance the reactors' construction: 9

Percent of SCE&G's customers' monthly bill that now goes toward the abandoned reactors: 18

Amount the average annual residential bill of an SCE&G customer has increased to pay for the reactors: $324

Rank of South Carolina among states where residents bear the highest monthly electric costs: 1

South Carolina's percent poverty rate, by household income: 17.9

Percentage points by which that exceeds the U.S. poverty rate: 2.8

Poverty rate in Allendale County, which is South Carolina's poorest and in SCE&G's electric service area: 36

Number of times by which the portion of income spent on electricity by the bottom 20 percent of earners exceeds that of the top 20 percent: more than 7

Amount SCANA paid its top executives in performance bonuses over the past decade: $21.4 million

Performance bonus SCANA CEO and President Kevin Marsh got in 2016 in part because of his oversight of nuclear construction activities: $1.4 million

Marsh's total compensation that year: $6.1 million

Additional amount in reactor "abandonment costs" SCE&G wants its customers to pay over the next 60 years: $2.2 billion

Amount in abandonment costs that would be assumed by SCE&G and its shareholders: $0

Date on which state lawmakers formed a bipartisan energy caucus to revisit the Base Load Review Act: 8/2/2017

Date on which South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson informed the state legislature that his office was investigating the reactor cancellation: 8/4/2017

Date on which Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club filed a formal intervention with the South Carolina Public Service Commission seeking to block additional charges to ratepayers: 8/7/2017

(Click on figure to go source.)